Three suspects arrested following three robberies and a theft in Leatherhead
A man aged 19 and two teenage boys aged 15 and 17 have been arrested on suspicion of a series of knifepoint robberies.
The police received a call at 11.40 on 27 January reporting that a group of boys approached a boy aged 15. They threatened him with a knife and demanded his expensive belongings.
After they took his jumper and a backpack, when the victim tried to stop them walking away, one of the suspects punched the victim to the stomach several times before disappearing.
Later in the afternoon, the police received another call at 16.40 reporting a group of three males had threatened an 11-year-old boy with a knife for his iPhone.
Officers quickly arrested the three suspects at Leatherhead Rail Station. A number of stolen items have since been recovered including expensive clothing and bags.
Officers are connecting the incidents to another attempted robbery at Reigate Train Station and a theft at a hotel in Reigate on Friday evening.
Three of the suspects have now been released on bail.
Anyone concerned about being a victim of crime should visit our website for safety information at https://surrey.police.uk/advice/
Detectives are appealing for help to solve seven violent and high-value burglaries across Surrey, Kent, Sussex and Thames Valley thought to have been committed by a lone offender with specialist skills.
Officers believe he might be ex-services, or military due to his levels of preparation and his commanding nature when committing the crimes. On each occasion he has used violence and the threat of a sawn-off shotgun to take jewellery and other items.
Speaking on behalf of the four forces, Detective Inspector Dee Fielding from Surrey Police said:
"Each of these burglaries have been extremely distressing for the victims involved.
"We do not believe this to be the work of an opportunist burglar, but someone who has specialist knowledge and skills - possibly ex-forces or from a similar background, both due to the way he has behaved and the circumstances of each incident. The burglaries all appear to be the work of someone who is confident, commanding, who knows exactly what they are doing, and who is incredibly decisive in their actions.
"On each occasion unnecessary levels of violence have been used in addition to a firearm, which he has used to threaten the victims. Several of the victims were tied with cable-ties.
"He has worked quickly and appears to have a knowledge of who is in the home at the time of each attack, the location of safes, and the layout of the property. We have evidence that he was watching several of the houses prior to the burglaries, sometimes for weeks at a time.
"More than £1M worth of property has been taken in total including irreplaceable heirlooms, some of which have little to no monetary value but are hugely sentimental to the victims. However, this investigation is primarily driven with the aim of preventing any further harm coming to anybody else by identifying and bringing a violent and dangerous man to justice.
"Whoever is responsible for these incidents may seem to have cash or income disproportionate to their job, they might also be travelling frequently, or away for long periods of time without explanation. If you are aware of someone who fits the description and profile, or someone who is behaving suspiciously - we urge you to get in touch with us immediately.
"If you have information about any of the individual incidents please come forward. We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may be able to help identify this suspect. If you have any information you think can help, please do get in touch."
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